The NBA Mentor Project is an initiative to improve our communication to aspiring band directors, to improve retention and attrition within the profession, and to build better bands. This unique project hopes to encourage young directors to ask questions and to seek information that will assist them in their every day lives. In addition, it will allow veteran teachers an opportunity to share their experiences, counsel the inexperienced, thereby improving the way band is taught in America. Since research has shown that strong mentor relationships contribute to retention and success of beginning teachers, the goal of the NBA Mentor Project will be to retain and contribute to the success of novice band directors. This outreach program will develop relationships amongst novice directors and veteran directors thereby strengthening the profession and contributing to the improvement of bands throughout the country. Research to support this initiative is presented below as mentor “Hot Points.” We hope you find this information both insightful and informative. If you would like to share additional research on mentoring, please email Dr. Scott Tobias. Be sure to include the source and reference.
To request a mentor, or to volunteer to be a mentor, please complete the information below. A representative from the NBA will contact you with information on a director with whom you have been paired. Directors volunteering to serve as mentors must agree to commit to the following:
- Contact the mentee on a regular basis to discuss any aspect of teaching (at least once every other week)
- Share resources and provide materials to aid the applicant in any way
- Observe the mentee teaching (live or video) or provide the mentee with a video or opportunity to observe the mentor teaching
Mentor Hot Points
Strong Mentor relationships contribute to the retention and success of beginning teachers (Feiman-Nemser, 1993; Gold, 1996; Gratch, 1998; Hawkey, 1997; Huffman & Leak, 1986; Odell &Ferraro, 1992; Stewart, 1992; Wildman, Magliero, Niles, & Niles, 1992). Participants in music education studies reported support from mentor teachers was helpful in the beginning years of music teaching (DeLorenzo, 1992; Krueger, 1999, 2001; Montague, 2000; Smith 1994). Music mentors were perceived by beginning music teachers to be more valuable than non-music mentors (Conway, 2002). Beginning teacher perceptions of the value of the mentor program appear to be connected with the degree and type of contact with the assigned mentor (Conway, 2002). Kajs et. al. (1998) suggest that the mentoring process considers three aspects: the relationship of the beginning teacher and mentor, the necessary knowledge and skills of the mentor, and an accountability process to ensure success. When traditionally trained novice teachers were asked which parts of their education prepared them most for teaching, they rated working with mentors and student teaching experiences the highest while education methods courses rated the lowest. (Newman and Thomas, 1999).